FTF Highlights: Tripp’s Presentation, Daniel Jaffee & Kevin Danaher

Written by nema on Sep 19, 2010 in BLOG |

So, there’s lots left to share from the Fair Trade Futures Conference.   This post will hit some of the high points, and if anything else comes up, I promise to share! 

Included in this post are:  a quote from Tripp‘s presentation at Fair Trade Futures, links to newly published articles from Daniel Jaffee, author of Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability and Survival and must-read books from Global Exchange co-founder Kevin Danaher. 

Is Certification Compatible with Fair Trade?

Panelists from Fair Trade Futures Conference Certification Debate. (L-R) Bena Burda, founder of Maggie's Functional Organics, Tripp Pomeroy, president Cafe Campesino, Jonathan Rosenthal of Just Works and co-founder of Equal Exchange and Ian Bretman, executive vice-chair of the Fair Trade Labelling Organizations.

On the second day of the Fair Trade Futures Conference, there were three concurrent debates:  “Value vs. Volume: Different Theories of Change in Fair Trade,”  “What is the Future of Fair Trade,” and “Is Certification Compatible with Fair Trade?”  Tripp Pomeroy, Cafe Campesino president, was a panelist on the certification debate, so I sat in on that one.  (Sad to have missed the other, two, though, so if anyone wants to report on those via comments, please do!)

Tripp explained that in his recent visits with coffee producers in Guatemala, Mexico, Colombia and Peru, farmers had told him that “Fair Trade was not doing a good enough job and certification, in particular, was posing a problem for them” in terms of the related expenses and labor it takes to get Fair Trade certified.  Part of the problem, Tripp believes, is that a “focus on the farmer”  has been lost.

Here’s a more detailed quote from Tripp’s presentation:

“We believe a principled approach to Fair Trade is how the rudder should be set- not farmers meeting standar

ds, but a principled-driven approach to Fair Trade that certification should back-up and support, not dilute.  We believe that the current certification process is broken and should be fixed.  And I think that it’s better if we all pitch-in to try to help fix it than try to continue to tear it apart.  I think that one of the ways that we can do that is to return the focus to the farmer, and time is of the essence.” 

Ian Bretman, vice-chair of Fair Trade Labelling Organizations International (FLO), who was also on the panel, agreed that the Fair Trade system could improve its interaction with small-scale producers and that the certification system should be less complicated for them.   

More Fair Trade Research from Daniel Jaffee

In 2007, Daniel Jaffee’s Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability, and Survival, was published.  It takes a critical look at Fair Trade coffee from the perspective of the MICHIZA coffee cooperative in Mexico.  Now, Mr. Jaffee has written two other academic papers on Fair Trade.

Give them a look: 

“Corporate Cooptation of Organic and Fair Trade Standards” that he co-authored with Phillip H. Howard: Jaffee Howard 2010–Cooptation AHV


“Fair Trade Standards, Corporate Participation and Social Movement Responses in the United States”: Jaffee–JBE 2010–FT Stds Corps Movement Responses in US

Finally, Kevin Danaher

If you’ve never heard Kevin Danaher speak, you are missing out.  This man is a dynamo… pushing his “global love revolution” (sounds a little hippy, but it’s got more teeth than that) that encourages us to take back our world (from the “Congress Critters,” powerful lobbyists and others who have taken it from us!!!).  He was our keynote speaker for the Fair Trade Futures Conference and recommended two books that I’ll share with you:

Cradle to Cradle by William McDonough

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature by Janine Benyus 

(I also heard Ray Anderson of Interface recommend Biomimicry a few years ago, so it’s probably time to read it!)

If you want to hear Kevin Danaher speak, you’ll proabably get a chance at one his Green Festivals.  Next one coming up is Oct. 23-24 in Washington.

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